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21 Things From My Childhood My Toddler Won't Get to Experience

It's a Blast from the Past!

The other day I tried to tell my kids that when we were little we didn’t have Netflix and Fresh Beat Band. We had a Bookmobile that came to our school instead of a Kindle that downloaded magic books for us. I’m pretty sure they didn’t believe me.

When I talk to my kids about my childhood it makes me feel old! I realize this more and more as my kids experience new things, or latch on to some new technology, and part of me feels like they have it easier now. But I also realize it is more important than ever to try and keep them safe from all of the junk out there and keep them from always getting sucked into the the next cool thing.

I’m pretty sure this is a universal parenting feeling. We want to be able to have well adjusted kids who are free to try new things, but we also want to be able to manage how that process works.

So I decided that a journey back to my childhood years was in order, to a time where things seemed simpler, at least to me. Dora wasn’t around then, but Mr. Rogers was the man. I think he even threw in some Spanish occasionally to keep things interesting.

Looking back there are things on this list I remember so fondly, many with stories and memories attached, and some that I can’t believe we participated in. Someday my kids will make fun of my stories about the things I had, or did, or played with when I was little.

They might even still look at me like I am crazy when I tell them about shoes that people wore with a little ball on them you pumped up. Little do they know that in a few short years they will have their own little kids who will laugh at how cool their mom thought an iPhone was.  For now, I’ll just settle for laughing with them.

Here are 21 things from my childhood that my kids won’t get to experience.

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  • Mixed Tapes 1 of 21
    Mixed Tapes
    They'll be spared the emotional roller coaster that accompanies a mixed tape from your boyfriend who just broke up with you that makes you cry for a month. Richard Marx was awesome one minute and a man of lies the next.
  • Space Shuttles 2 of 21
    Space Shuttles
    They won't sit in a classroom and experience the magic of astronauts and gigantic space shuttles that blasted off to all those places we dreamed about. I think every kid at one point or another wants to be an astronaut. I did too.
    Photo courtesy of NASA
  • PoGo Balls 3 of 21
    PoGo Balls
    Big ball inside a plastic ring you stand on. Add kid and fall flat on your face. But, the commercials made it look so easy! Maybe this is one thing I'm glad my kids won't have the frustration of trying to play with.
  • MC Hammer & His Pants 4 of 21
    MC Hammer & His Pants
    While the song Too Legit To Quit may never die, MC Hammer + baggy ugly pants = laughing and embarrassment for the rest of life. All I have to say is — What were we thinking?
  • Phone Booths 5 of 21
    Phone Booths
    Phone booths were always disgusting and creeped me out. How did we survive without spreading every known and unknown disease to each other through these germ catchers without wipes or antibacterial gel? I'm glad my children will never have to set foot in one of these. But, I'm not sure I like the idea of them having a cell phone by the age of 10 either.
    Photo Credit
  • Reading Rainbow 6 of 21
    Reading Rainbow
    "Butterfly in the Sky". If you don't still remember this song and the magic of the show you missed a lot. I'm bummed that my kids won't get to watch this show, but I did learn that there is an iPad app called RRkidz that is based on the show, so maybe they can still get their Reading Rainbow fix.
  • Chicken Pox 7 of 21
    Chicken Pox
    It was nice to miss school, but that was it. What was once a rite of passage in childhood is now an almost distant memory, and I'm sure my kids will appreciate not having to deal with scars that are often left behind because of too much scratching.
    Photo Credit
  • Baby Sitter Club Books 8 of 21
    Baby Sitter Club Books
    These were my absolute favorite books growing up. I would beg my mom to take me to the bookstore to buy the latest edition as soon as it came out. I think my mom may still have my collection in her basement, so maybe my daughter will get to read them after all.
  • Dial-Up Internet 9 of 21
    Dial-Up Internet
    Worst connecting sound ever! I will never forget that. I will also never forget how cool I thought it was to IM even though it took an hour to connect to anything. Good thing my kids won't have to experience this one, patience is not one of my toddler's strong suits.
  • Records 10 of 21
    Records
    I remember listening to records and making up dances to the songs when I was a little girl. My daughter does that now with songs on my iPod. If I showed my kids one of these they would probably ask why I have such a funny looking Frisbee.
    Photo Credit
  • Polaroid Pictures 11 of 21
    Polaroid Pictures
    The best thing in the world was watching that picture develop. And no kids, it's just not the same on Instagram.
  • Double Dare 12 of 21
    Double Dare
    Who didn't want to go on this show and make it to the obstacle course at the end? How could you not want to pie your dad in the face, or jump into pools of chocolate sauce? Good thing they have Wipe Out to watch now.
  • Bag Phones 13 of 21
    Bag Phones
    Try explaining these phones to a kid. You hooked them into a cigarette lighter and pretended to talk on them. If you actually used them you paid with a kidney for each minute you talked. We have come a long way, baby.
  • Atari 14 of 21
    Atari
    This could be an Atari, or original Nintendo, or even the first edition of the Gameboy. Either way, the games seemed so awesome and the graphics amazing. Kids today can create Avatars that look like them and play a bowling game during which you can pull an actual muscle. I like theirs better.
    Photo Credit
  • Reebok Pumps 15 of 21
    Reebok Pumps
    My kids would probably laugh so hard and ask, "Why did you fall for that?" Press a ball and pump up your shoes to make you awesome and better at sports. Didn't work for me!
  • Floppy Disks 16 of 21
    Floppy Disks
    Why did they call them floppy when they were actually make out of hard plastic? I, for one, am extremely glad we improved this technology so quickly, and my kids will never have to ponder the answer to that question.
  • Guess Jeans 17 of 21
    Guess Jeans
    If you didn't have one of these symbols on your butt, you weren't anybody. I guess my kids will have to deal with their own version of this in a few years, and that makes me kinda sad.
  • Oregon Trail 18 of 21
    Oregon Trail
    Johnny got Typhoid. Timmy got Malaria. Emily died. It was so hard to get across that trail without a snake bite. If my kids saw this now, they would just laugh.
  • Rotary Dial Phones 19 of 21
    Rotary Dial Phones
    I credit these phones with the phobia of dialing the wrong number that I still have to this day. Put your finger in the wrong spot and you just called that cute boy from math class instead of your best friend. Now my toddler knows how to navigate an iPhone, find his shows on Netflix, and shoot some pigs on Angry birds. I don't know if that's better or not?
  • Lap Only Seat Belts 20 of 21
    Lap Only Seat Belts
    If you got in a fender bender you got whiplash, a bloody nose, and stomach cramps. Get in one now and your entire car looks like a balloon. Glad for my kids' safety they improved this one.
  • VHS Tapes 21 of 21
    VHS Tapes
    Hey DVR, I love you. When I was little I waited from age 2-3 for Cinderella to rewind once. My kids have no idea how good they have it now.

What flashbacks from your childhood are you sad, or glad, that your toddler won’t get the chance to experience?

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